Two of the most productive Indianapolis Colts in franchise history are expected to have a big impact in 2014. WR – Reggie Wayne and OLB – Robert Mathis have both been big parts of the success for Indianapolis for more than a decade, and their impact will be closely monitored this season. Still, these two NFL Hall of Fame possibilities may have very different types of impact for their team.
Prior to last October, Wayne had not missed a game since his rookie campaign, in the 2001 season. Wayne went down in week 7, and was forced to sit on the sideline, following ACL surgery. Wayne’s rehab has reportedly been going well, and much attention will be focused on how he looks in training camp. When healthy, Wayne is a leader on and off the field for this young offense. The Colts will need his production, if they expect to improve on offensive production.
When it comes to Mathis, his absence may prove to be the greater impact on the team. Mathis is the veteran leader of the defense, and led the NFL with 19.5 sacks last season. The 12-year veteran also padded his best season with 44 total tackles and eight forced fumbles. Mathis will be serving a four-game suspension to start the 2014 season, and his loss could mean as much as the return of Wayne. The Colts will face two division opponents during that four-game span, as well as the home opener against the Philadelphia Eagles. The Colts may miss Mathis the most during their first game of the season, when they travel to face QB – Peyton Manning and the Denver Broncos.
fans will keep their fingers crossed that Wayne can return to form, and that missing Mathis will not cost them too much too early. Both players will have an impact this season, and hopefully that impact will be equally positive.